Passing away of Forum’s President – Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen

Press release

With deep sorrow, we announce the sudden demise of our forum’s beloved President, Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen a few days ago. Prof. Jansen was a great friend to Pakistan and an ardent member of the German Pakistan Forum for many decades. He had been rendering his services as the forum’s President since 2019.  

His nearly five-decades-long work on the cultural and heritage sites of Pakistan in general and Mohenjo Daro in particular. Due to his remarkable services, the President of Pakistan has conferred the National Award of “Hilal-e-Imtiaz” (Crescent of Distinction Medal) on him in recognition of his services to ‘The Indus Valley Civilization in 2019. Prof. Jansen was previously decorated with ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ (Star of Distinction) in 1987. He thus joined the exclusive group of persons with two national awards and the only one in the field of Indus Valley which bears testimony to his lifelong, passionate services to Mohenjo Daro. 

Prof. Jansen studied physics and mathematics at the University of Bonn in 1967. He moved to RWTH Aachen University in 1968 and studied architecture and architectural history until 1973. In 1974 he went to the University of Rome for further studies, where he studied architectural history and archaeology. In 1979, he received his doctorate title with a thesis entitled „Architecture of the Harappa Culture.“ From 1978 to 1987 he was project leader of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) research project ‚Mohenjo-Daro‘ in collaboration with Günter Urban. From 1988 to 1993 he was a university lecturer at the RWTH Aachen University. 

Prof. Jansen was extensively working on multiple projects, i.e. writing three books, planning a cultural trip to archaeological sites in Pakistan, and was ambitious about the Mohenjo Daro excavation’s centenary celebrations event which will take place in UNESCO headquarters in Paris this September. He also worked on a 3-D model of Moehnjo Daro to commemorate the 100-year Mohenjo Daro excavation. 

Since 1994, Prof. Jansen had been a university professor for the history of urban development at RWTH Aachen University. From 1994 to 1996, Jansen was dean of the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen. His research interests include Indus culture (Mohenjo-Daro), colonial architecture in South Asia, archaeology and architecture in Southeast Arabia and Central Asia, early modern cities, and Carolingian architecture. 

The world has lost a great scholar and an archaeologist. He will always remain in our hearts and prayers. May his soul rest in peace.